We’re gonna hold up our hands: we can’t even remember a standout track from the last Everything Everything album. That’s not so much a blight on them… well, ok, maybe it is. It’s hard to stand out in a constantly evolving indie landscape, and truth be told they’re getting lost among Wild Beasts et all wearing the same style.
A Fever Dream feels like more of the same from the four-piece, who have perfected that ‘affected quirkiness’ guise that keeps them atop the festival bill. Night Of The Long Knives is a full-on, in-your-face beginning, galloping along with drums and guitar till it gets to a chorus that can only be described as excruciating. To the point that you think someone might have jammed a long knife up their posterior.
But there’s still an endearing sort of charm when Everything Everything get it right, even among the familiarity. The title track has a hypnotic wonderment to it, while Can’t Do is almost like La Roux doing indie and quite a joyously ironic celebration of everything they can do so well. However in among all the strained falsetto their quieter and more honest moments (Good Shot, Good Soldier or the haunting instrumental New Deep) are lost in the no man’s land between gimmickry and sincerity.
And that’s the problem here: A Fever Dream feels like it’s happening to someone else, a disaffected exercise that’ll find favour with long-time fans but presenting little freshness for the rest of us. “You think it’s new, but it is not new,” they sing on Big Game. Honestly, there’s no better way for us to sum up A Fever Dream. It sweats out the last decade of the genre and crystallises it for our pleasure, but there’s no question that Everything Everything need to change their sheets immediately.
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